Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Canoeing the Gowanus was Superfund!

Before we ventured into the murky waters, David Krieger of the Gowanus Community Development Corporation gave a brief history of the canal, which was named after a chief in the Lenape tribe back when it was still a creek. This was around the time when the borough of Brooklyn was a wee town named Breukelen! During the Gowanus' glory days right after World War I, it was the most trafficked commercial canal in the country.

We entered at one of the few non-private points of access to the canal, at the dead end of cobble stoned 2nd street. Here's google's street view:

We canoed towards the pretty gnarly northern end of the canal first. Lots of filmy layers of grime sitting on the surface of the water, along with of course floating trash bags, beer cans, and lots of unidentifiable slime.

There are several houseboats along the edges of the canal, including this charming one:

It was fun cruising under the bridges that I normally ride my bike over--what a strange perspective!

It was high tide and we just barely managed to clear this really low one. Oh god.

The southern end of the canal is less filthy, because it's closer to the bay. That's also where the two remaining operational cement factories are. These guys piped in the banjo music from Deliverance on their PA system as we paddled by...

All along the banks are bus depots, abandoned lots, and towering reminders of the waterway's industrial past.

What a magical way to spend a gorgeous Saturday morning--I'd gladly do it again! Just gotta be sure to check the tide tables next time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It just isn't right...


... that this sweatshirt belongs to me and not Patricia.


There, that's better!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have no idea where this photo came from or how old it is, but does it really matter?!!!!!?!!! 

Feeling nostalgic for two months ago

Summer is almost over and I don't wanna let go! It was a good one.

We sweated through three hours of brooklyn and queens by bike on one of the hottest days of the summer, to get to an art party at a marina in Far Rockaway that Olivia was hosting. The reward: cold Bud and a dip in the grimy sound, surrounded by sex dolls bobbing in the water around us (art!).

Emi was born! Congratulations Carl & Ros, she's lovely. And at less than two weeks old, so tiny.

I spent 5 days on Fire Island, with Jens & Jenny and many of their friends. Activities consisted almost exclusively of laying on the beach, drinking beer, and eating giant group meals.

I hosted Otto at my house while Audrey was away in Paris reportaging the Tour de France.

While I was attending a Smashing Pumpkins concert with Adam at Terminal 5, some jerk tried to steal my bike. S/he was thwarted by my kryptonite chain, but my bike was rendered unrideable in the process. Matthew swooped in to find me an exact replacement--Maruishi Jr was shipped to me (aided by the kindness of Corvallis, OR resident Mike Cunningham) a couple weeks later!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend in Montauk

Went up to Montauk this weekend with Ilmi. It's really pretty out there -- the beaches are backed by cliffs, the waves are good for surfing and water feels really clean.

Ilmi and his friend Dave caught some early morning waves while I watched from the beach.

We "ate local"!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Camping in Minnewaska State Park

Peter and I camped in Minnewaska State Park this weekend.

We splashed around in this amazing waterfall.

Picked blueberries to our hearts content and brought bags of them back home too! The trail we hiked along was lined with them -- much like Harriman.

No camping allowed in the park, but we were quiet and broke down the tent at first light. It was completely deserted at night! Not a soul! Almost eerie, but definitely amazing.

The water is crystal clear -- the lake has a limestone bedrock so the pH is not suitable for fish and other animals.

It would be amazing to go back in the fall when the leaves are turning!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mama's birthday

I helped Mom celebrate her birthday this year by coaxing her off the isle of Manhattan over to my house in Brooklyn, where we meandered our way through Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights over to the new Pier 6 playground and ferry dock. Destination: Governors Island! The boarding line was long and inched along, and the sun was mighty hot, but we had a baguette from Almondine and some Jacques Torres chocolate to sustain us!

The two minute ferry journey behind us, we ambled until we found a shady patch of grass to sprawl out on, and dug into our lazy picnic lunch.

That was all we had really bargained for for the day, but once we took a walk around the island, we realized there were all sorts of enticing things around us. Like public art, and couples riding rental tandem bikes, and the new water taxi beach!

It seemed too perfect to have stumbled upon that, complete with real sand and a beach volleyball court, so we set up shop on our little tatami mat all over again.

And ordered a beer. We played a game of scrabble, and people watched. Stayed for a few songs by the band--not sure but it might have been the Freelance Whales.

The plastic, light-up, blinking palm trees really added to the atmosphere--we were both quite taken by them! Once dusk started to fall, we packed up and headed to the on-location photobooth to cap off our day with a little sponsored photo session:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekend by Brooklyn

Hester Street Fair with Audrey and Keith. Ran into Sandy & Francis on their way out. Not as death-by-horde-of-hipsters as I was lead to believe it would be. I even spied a smattering of older Chinese neighborhood types and older Hasidic neighborhood types. And yes, a bunch of hipsters too. Ok this was LES, not Brooklyn, but just a 10 minute bike ride away!

Bought (and ate) a vegan raspberry coconut thing from Boomtown--I'd patronize them again for sure.

Onwards and eastwards to the Franklin Street Immersion. I don't know that there were any events scheduled up and down the block per se, maybe more of a Greenpoint BID kind of thing, but a fine enough excuse to meet up with Stella and Matthew and Monica and wander around the neighborhood. Van Leeuwen ice cream was consumed, and apparently it's very good stuff.

Monica showed off the mural she helped paint. It's even got her name on a plaque next to it!

Admiration all around.

It was hot, hot, hot. We swung by Word and browsed. We stopped in at Brooklyn Label and Audrey got this coffee soda drink that sounds so disgusting but tasted so, so yummy. We ambled around.

West between Green & Freeman: Greenpoint's most appealing block--not that this photo quite conveys it, but it really just is.

Later on that night, watermelon & beer on Keith's stoop in Clinton Hill.

We test rode clown bikes with banana seats at the Bike Jumble the next day!

The one that got away from Via Bicycle--worth every penny of its $20 price tag, but somehow, there were no takers.

The children of Park Slope are as effervescent as they are omnipresent. Here's us charmed by one particularly saucy little boy with an unzipped fly who was demonstrating some crazy skidz on his bike with training wheels, outside of Grumpy's. We OWNED this bench for at least an hour and a half.

After taste-testing the failed home-brewing experiment known as Chirndl, it turns out the real lowlight of the weekend was court summonses for all (except me and Yasa!) at Valentino Pier in Red Hook. Apparently it closes at 10pm, though you would never know by the signs posted at the entrance.

Still, Brooklyn did us right this weekend!